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The WSIA Weekly, 6.5.15


WSIA Safety Committee meets next Thursday

WSIA’s Safety Committee, chaired by John Shervey, holds its next regularly scheduled meeting next Thursday, June 11 at 2:00 p.m. The meeting, which takes place via conference call on the GoToMeeting online platform, should last approximately 45-60 minutes, and will cover topics such as upcoming safety presentations, WSIA’s annual fall conference which focuses on safety topics, methods to increase employee engagement in safety programs, and other topics. If you’d like to participate in next week’s meeting, or you or colleagues within your company may be interested in the work of the Safety Committee, please e-mail either John Shervey or myself.

 Workers’ Comp employers’ coalition legislative meeting next Thursday

Also next Thursday afternoon, as previously noticed to our Legislative Committee, the employers’ workers’ compensation legislative coalition is holding a meeting in Olympia to discuss the employer community’s nominees to the Benefit Accuracy Working Group, a business-labor-Department collaborative established by the Legislature this session to explore improvements to the accuracy, simplicity, fairness, and consistency of wage calculations. The meeting takes place at 1:30 p.m. at the offices of Associated General Contractors in Olympia. If you are interested in this meeting or the work of WSIA’s Legislative Committee, please e-mail me.

 Labor & Industries’ new Medical Aid Rules & Fee Schedule (MARFS) takes effect July 1

This week, the Department of Labor & Industries announced their updated Medical Aid Rules and Fee Schedule for 2015, taking effect July 1. The new fee schedule and related policies are available here.

 Department announces rulemaking to implement DSM-5 for mental disorders

Also this week, the Department of Labor & Industries proposed formal rulemaking to update to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders version 5 for use in considering mental impairments or disorders. The rulemaking also includes language delimiting stress claims resulting from exposure to traumatic events, and claims based on mental conditions or disabilities that specify pain primarily as a psychiatric condition. Take a look at the proposed language here and, if you have any comments to make on the rules, make them by July 13th in writing to or in person at the public hearing to be held at 1:00 p.m. July 13th at L&I HQ in Tumwater.  

 Self-Insurance colloquium sold out – see attendees next Tuesday!

Our next WSIA – Labor & Industries colloquium on self-insurance occupational health best practices next Tuesday at Starbucks HQ in Seattle is all full – we look forward to seeing attendees there and will post links to the presentations afterwards for folks who are interested but couldn’t make it.

 NCSI annual conference presentation slides available soon

I spent the majority of this week at the annual conference of the National Council of Self-Insurers, where a number of nationwide experts held forth on a diverse lineup of claims management, disability prevention, legal defense, and other topics. For folks interested, I’ll post a link to the conference presentations when they become available. In the meantime, Safety National has published its notes from the general session topics here, and’s Bob Wilson, who was our own featured speaker at the WSIA Annual Conference, also attended and has filed this interesting blog post exploring mixed signals from the feds on workers’ comp, available here.

Governor’s Industrial Safety and Health Advisory Board Seeks Nominees for Real-Life Heroes and Heroines

The Governor’s Industrial Safety and Health Advisory Board has announced its annual conference on October 7-8th in Tacoma, and as part of the conference, the Board recognizes real-life heroes and heroines who have had a “hands-on” role in saving a life during working hours over the past year. The Board is seeking nominations for the 2015 “Governor’s Lifesaving Awards,” for heroic actions at work between June 1 2014 and May 31, 2015. The deadline for nomination is June 30th, and you can e-mail a nomination to Laura Glover at Labor & Industries, or use this form.


Webinar: Marijuana in the Workplace: A Tricky Proposition - June 18th!

It may be legal to get high in Washington, but what does that mean for the workplace? For workers’ compensation claims and safety enforcement? For employer drug policies? “Marijuana in the Workplace: A Tricky Proposition,” takes place June 18th from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. Led by attorney Erin Sullivan-Byorick and lab toxicology manager David Michaelson, this webinar will tackle topics like how much marijuana in the blood shows up in test results? What constitutes a positive test? How would Labor & Industries address marijuana use? What is L&I’s position? Can an employee return to work while using medical marijuana to manage pain? Will there be occupational health guidelines around the use of marijuana? And so on. This is a great one to share not only with your workers’ comp staff, but human resources and safety as well. Use this link for more info and to register.

 See our other summertime webinars and events at our Calendar of Events